The President Has Come of Age

01/12/2011 10:34 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Tonight in Tucson the president's strength, compassion and wisdom reminded us all of what we first saw in him, what can get lost in the day-to-day legislative sausage-making. More gray-haired and somber, he brilliantly and so presidentially rose above the clutter, the chatter. I keep thinking about his oft-repeated line, "our better angels," and today he inspired us all, on all sides, to really hear those words.

He preached tonight, a lay Christian minister. I can't but hope that the vast reasonable middle of the electorate, after his speech, is more with him than before. I would guess that tonight was the first time that they sat down and really listened to an entire speech of his in months. It was a helluva of a way to get reacquainted.

Sarah Palin's upload from her bunker this morning couldn't provide a starker example of the differences in the content of their characters.

For all her whining that it's actually her that has been wronged, for all Fox News' post-speech takeaway that the president's speech absolved them from any culpability in the dangerous turn in public political discourse, I can't help but hope that the deaths in Tucson will chasten them, just a little.